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    1. Kit: , by (Asst. Administrator) Don Garrett is offline
      Builder Last Online: May 2019 Show Printable Version Email this Page
      Model Scale: 1/8 Rating:  Thanks: 1
      Started: 10-08-06 Build Revisions: Never  
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      Silver soldering I'll start with the very basics
      First of all You will need : (High temprature)1.6mm dia acid cored silver solder
      ( Comweld 965 or similar soldering flux )
      ( small Rekrow or similar butane soldering torch)
      If you have a small 6volt type electric curcuit type soldering gun turf it cause their as good as useless for the type of thing we do.
      ( 1.5 mm brass sheet cut into thin 5mm straps)
      Ok if I havent put you all off already start by cleaning the very tips of only one side of 2 straps of brass using some steelwool or very fine abrasive paper after doing that use some thinners and a very clean cloth to wipe the surfaces you just roughed up .
      Lay both the cleaned surfaces onto each other checking that there is no gap in between if there is sand Silver soldering the surface again until you have it looking right.
      2 things to remember to get a good bond and allow the solder to flow freely is to have a very clean surface and no gaps if at all possible.
      Ok once you are happy things are clean hold the 2 surfaces together using the smallest possible clamp you can find do not cover the entire surface with the clamp as this will draw the heat away from the surface you want soldered.
      use a very small and clean paint brush to dip into the flux bottle and lightly brush the surface joins where the solder must flow,you don't need alot of flux on the surface just put it where the solder needs to flow .
      heat the surface using a fairly aggressive heat but only heat the surface until a very faint cheery red appears take the heat away and touch the surface join with the end of the solder,do not keep the heat on the join the same time you are adding the solder as the metal will be hot Silver soldering enough to draw the melted solder to the join .
      Ok if this isn't working for you don't dispair keep practicing as silver soldering is an art form on it's own you will eventually get the hang of it.

      This is one of the toughest things in the micro world to get over. If I can shed some light on the subject from my past, we used to solder bridges and metal denture frameworks all the time and our biggest problem was not melting the work or the other joints before the solder kicked. There were several ways to do this most of which Don has alluded to already. The best solution we foun was to solder the first parts with a higher melting temperature solder and the subsequent joints with a lower fusing solder. The next thing was the heating technique. If you're using a torch, it becomes more dicey than if you're using an iron. For more critical areas I would use the iron and leave the torch to the larger areas. Second, you can create heat sinks to pull the heat in a particular direction away form the already soldered joints. I usually clamped a cool set of tweezers where I want to pull the heat and that keeps the area a bit cooler. Make sure your flux is good and the joint is really clean. Any carbon, graphite, sanding Silver soldering debris, finger oils, paint, glue or whatever will inhibit the flow of the solder and cause you to overheat the work. I hope this helps somewhat. Believe me, when you've taken a bridge you made that doesn't fit, cut it and refit the thing perfectly and then watched the whole thing melt as your dental school instructor comes around with the grade book, you learn to solder well. I speak from experience.


      (1) use the blue part of the flame from the burner,
      (2) make sure there is no air space between the join even if you have to keep filing away the metal , use fine grade sand Silver soldering paper to clean the edge of the joins clean the surface with thinners
      (3) get yourself a good quality flux Comweld 965 is the best look for this from the welding supplier it is imperative the surface is fluxed (pickled) before adding solder the solder will not flow if this process is not followed.

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  1. I,ll endevour to explain how to replicate an accurate Dial Vial using a lathe
    First of all you will need to measure the total inside Diameter of the gauge face.( the best tool to use for this job is a set of vernier calipers.)
    Once you have the measurment lock it onto your calipers and select a piece of solid brass rod around the same diameter as the gauge face but not smaller.
    Next step is to machine the rod down to the exact diameter ,machine at least a 35mm length ( refer to photographs).
    Next step is to part the length into separate halves and face off in the lathe.
    Select one half and drill with a centre drill so as it can spin on the front of a live end in the tail stock of your lathe ( refer to pics)
    Once both brass pieces are machined to the exact diameters and the centre hole is drilled mount all pieces in the lathe at the same time sandwiching a small piece of polycarbonate sheet ( I use poly sheet because of its clearness and thickness avaliability) your Choice, once sandwiched between the brass pieces use the adjustment wheel on the tail stock to take up tension DO NOT OVER TIGHTEN ( refer to pics again ) now machine the poly down to the point where you don't quite touch the the brass work pieces and finish profileing the poly with a fine jewllers file while still spinning in the lathe ( WARNING WATCH THOSE NUCKLES AND PINKIES ON THE LATHE CHUCK!!)

    Untension the tail stock and allow the small poly piece to separate remove protective backing paper and you have a perfectly rounded gauge Vial!!
    By using this construction method any size Vial can be made with a bit of effort.


  2. Twokidsnosleep's Avatar Established Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Thank you for the tips here
    Silver soldering is one very hard technique to master. It seemed I got lucky the first time and made a brass front axle fairly easily, but since that I can't solder anything together.
    Intimate contact, clean parts and proper heating are vital as well as faith, praying, voodoo, devil worship and heavy drinking.....choose your poison
    Currently I am in a soldering funk, but will keep practicing

  3. Roger Zimmermann's Avatar Yearly Subscriber
    Join Date
    May 2012
    In fact, this is not a so difficult process. I suspect you have either a too large mass of material for the flame you have or that heat source is too small (which is the same). You had success with the front axle because this is a long but has a rather small section.
    During the frame construction, I was faced to the same problem. The solder would not flow even if I was heating since ages. Has I just installed the larger tip (as I experieced later) there would not have been a problem.
    I don't know what you have as silver soldering rods; you have to choose one with the lower melting point which is available in your region. Maybe the name "Castolin 1802" is telling something to you; it's more expensive than regular rods, but much easier to work with on scale models.

  4. Twokidsnosleep's Avatar Established Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Hi Roger, sorry I missed your response in May.
    My post was a little tongue in cheek so to speak...a joke, but soldering in general is something that can be very frustrating and has a steep learning curve.
    Your explanation makes sense as to why the axle was easier. Now I am moving into more complex shapes with multiple attachment parts.
    I have had more success with using heat sinks, magnets and jigs to hold parts tightly AND especially using a syringe to precisely apply paste flux that I then put small silver solder chips into. All this allows me to have a free hand for supporting parts and focus just on getting the flame to target and watch for that shine and flow of the solder. The other benefit is less clean up than when I use a rod or roll of silver solder which I always seem to get a big blob of excess solder. Yes I have different melting point solders.
    So no expert at soldering brass, but I am getting better!!!
    I am making a little 1/32 Bugatti Type 59 out of brass as a pet project to learn is quite fun actually
    Silver soldering-image-jpg
    Silver soldering-img_0728-jpg
    Last edited by Twokidsnosleep; 07-18-15 at 01:36 PM.

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